Friday, May 17, 2013

Rick Bragg

Rick Bragg is one of my favorite authors. I have been lucky enough to hear him speak on a multitude of occasions as a student at The University of Alabama, where Bragg currently serves as a Professor of Writing.

I am no wordsmith myself, but to me, Bragg can encapsulate what it means to be Southern in one sentence. His words are smooth, slow, sweet and sticky all at the same time. You can hear his accent dripping off of every sentence in every book.

He also has a regular column in Southern Living; honestly one of the main reasons I am a subscriber.
His words make me laugh and cry; they warm my heart. His stories are relatable; I often think of my Nanny while reading.

Nanny and me, Thanksgiving 2012

He, to me, captures the South without trying too hard. As Bragg says in this video, "I don't want to write about us in cliches. We're too complicated for that. You want to make a mistake in writing about Southerners? Generalize. Rationalize. You'll make a mistake about Southerners." Check out more of Bragg's videos on Southern Living's YouTube channel.

He gives some of us words when we can't find them ourselves. Like this article he wrote after the tornado that destroyed parts of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and brought an abrupt end to my senior year of college.

No water, no power, in desperate need of showers. But we still managed to find the good in the bad and hold a candlelight for  Katie, celebrating her engagement, after the tornado had cancelled chapter Wednesday evening. 

If you are looking for a good summer read or two, check out some of Bragg's books below.

All Over but the Shoutin'

Ava's Man (my first encounter with Bragg's work; it got me hooked )
The Prince of Frogtown

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